The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

Remote control

All of a sudden, the cars and motos in front of me started swerving erratically, nearly resulting in a head-on collision. I was on Mao Tse Tung Blvd—one of Cambodia’s busiest thoroughfares on my way to an interview, and as we got closer, it became clear what was causing the havoc.

A young boy was driving his remote control car in the middle of the street.

The boy snickered as the cars zigged and zagged to avoid his toy, while standing next to him, a middle-aged man dressed in an all black Lenin suit guffawed.

Now, I don’t know for certain who lives in the compound where the pair were standing (it’s rumored to be Hun Sen’s nephew). Whoever owns it often leaves the gate open, and inside you can usually spot a Bentley, two luxury SUVs, a pair of identical Ducatis, and a metallic yacht.

Despite the developmental gains that Cambodia has made over the last decade, if you’re rich, you can do whatever you want. No one will stop you, and no one will dare drive over your toy car.